At the 2023 Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF), the global tech company Huawei, in collaboration with du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), unveiled the ground-breaking world’s first 5.5G villa in Dubai, an archetype for the future smart home living powered by a staggering 10Gbps networks.
Early in March this year, both entities signed an MOU on 5.5G centered on 5G-A technological innovation, application exploration, and ecosystem development. This latest reveal stands as a testament to their joint innovation prowess.
World’s First 5.5G Villa in Dubai
The 5G-A Villa epitomizes the seamless integration of cutting-edge technologies, offering an unparalleled smart home experience enriched with applications such as naked-eye 3D and XR.
As consumers increasingly crave superior experiences, this inspires the evolution of content and applications, subsequently amplifying the demand on network capabilities.
To satiate these growing needs, carriers find themselves compelled to amplify their home networks to a remarkable 10Gbps.
du, Huawei partnership
Speaking at the launch of world’s first 5.5G villa in Dubai, Fahad Al Hassawi, the CEO of du commented, “From the beginning of the 5G era, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) has been a transformative catalyst, empowering us to deliver cutting-edge solutions to our valued customers.
“As pioneers, we at du are honoured to pave the way with such novel innovations. Our enduring partnership with Huawei has been fruitful consistently, and with the introduction of FWA², we are poised to redefine the boundaries of user experience, offering our subscribers unparalleled internet connectivity indoors.”
Echoing this sentiment, Li Peng, Huawei’s Corporate Senior Vice President and President of the company’s Carrier BG, remarked, “Today, Huawei is excited to launch the 5G-A Powered Villa at the Home of the Future. The showcase offers a first-hand look at the infinite possibilities that 5G-Advanced technology will bring to future homes and the better network experience that 5G-A will offer mobile users.
“It is the result of du’s continuous pursuit of a better digital experience. This achievement is only the beginning. Moving forward, Huawei will continually support du in its effort to build the best 5G networks, explore the commercial use of 5G-Advanced networks, while championing du’s leadership in this transformative era.”
The world’s first 5.5G Villa sheds light on the boundless potential that deterministic experience technology heralds for the households of tomorrow.
Harnessing Huawei’s innovative FWA² solution, it illustrates how, in the 5G era, FWA became an operator’s powerhouse tool for rapid user expansion.
As we transition to 5G-A/5.5G, the FWA² solution, encompassing FWA Pro, FWA Lite, and FWA Biz, promises unparalleled services for discerning customers. Specifically, FWA Pro is engineered to support a phenomenal rate of 10Gbps, thus reimagining smart home living and unlocking vast business opportunities.
14th Global Mobile Broadband Forum
The unveiling of the villa coincided with the 14th Global Mobile Broadband Forum, themed “Bring 5.5G into Reality” from October 10 to 11 in Dubai, UAE.
Hosted by Huawei and backed by industry partners GSMA, GTI and the SAMENA Telecommunications Council, the forum showcased a deep dive into the successes of 5G, the maturity of the ecosystem, the fast-track commercialization of 5G-A/5.5G, and insights into how mobile broadband technology is shaping the future and transforming people’s lives and industries.
Global Mobile Broadband Forum
Meanwhile, Huawei’s annual Global Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF) kicked off in Dubai. The event began with a livestreamed discussion between Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Ken Hu, and the Director General of GSMA, Mats Granryd, about the current state of 5G development and future projections.
“Technology is changing so fast, and new demands are evolving every day,” said Hu.
“So, our networks need to keep evolving too. Our industry as a whole needs to get ready for the future and maximize the value of investments in 5G – and that’s why we’re working so hard on 5G-Advanced.”
5G Makes Remarkable Progress
Both Hu and Granryd agreed that 5G has seen remarkable progress in network deployment, adoption, consumer services, and industry applications. To date, more than 260 5G networks have been deployed worldwide, covering nearly half of the world’s population. 5G is the fastest growing mobile technology ever, having reached one billion connections only three years after its launch. By comparison, it took 4G six years to reach the same milestone.
According to Hu, 5G has become a new growth engine for mobile operators in the consumer market. For leading mobile operators around the world, 5G now accounts for the majority of network traffic. In particular, video-based applications are changing consumption habits, driving a three- to five-fold increase in network traffic and 10%–25% average increase in ARPU.
5G Applications Worldwide
5G has also helped mobile communications networks expand into the vertical industry market – one of its biggest differences with 4G. Currently, there are more than 50,000 industrial 5G applications worldwide, and more than 10 million 5G connections in industrial settings.
“Over the past four years, we’ve identified key scenarios for industrial applications, like remote control, video backhaul, machine vision, and positioning, where we can maximize the value of 5G,” Hu continued. “We have also identified industries like mining, ports, and manufacturing where we can scale up 5G capabilities.”
Granryd remarked, “5G is driving digital transformation across industries and opening up enormous opportunities. In 2030, 5G will add US$1 trillion to global economy, with benefits spreading across all industries.”
Unleashing the Full Potential of 5G
Speaking on next steps for 5G, Hu mentioned several key consumer-facing initiatives that can help mobile operators achieve ongoing business success. These include continuously expanding network coverage, enhancing user experience, and exploring more flexible pricing models.
As for the B2B market, Hu suggested that the industry should leverage proven 5G applications to drive 5G adoption at scale across more industries. Throughout this process, mobile operators can better position themselves to seize new opportunities in industry digitalization by strengthening their capabilities in cloud, industrial application development, and end-to-end system integration.
“Looking forward, we have lots of work to do,” said Hu. “We need to enhance our capabilities, evolve the technology, create better user experience, scale up in industry, and maximize the value of our investment on 5G.”
Open Gateway Initiative
To help further enrich the 5G application ecosystem, GSMA has proposed the Open Gateway initiative as a way to support cross-industry innovation. Open Gateway is a framework of common APIs that will bring universal access to operator network capabilities, allowing developers and cloud service providers to improve and create new digital services.
“Now we have roughly 240 mobile operators signed up, representing more than 62% of the world’s mobile subscribers,” said Granryd.
“Open Gateway is a way for developers, hyperscalers, and others to more effectively use the capabilities of networks, and create common APIs that we can share across the whole operator community. It’s like what we did with roaming back in the 2G era, but for APIs. It’s very, very exciting.”
“We need to activate the ecosystem,” agreed Hu.
“Particularly application developers. Open Gateway is a great way to help developers make full use of networks, creating greater development opportunities for 5G in both the consumer and industry digitalization markets.”